Reasons why PAP may call for an early 2014 or 2015 election

August 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
07 August 2013

There are reasons, solely my opinion of course, why the People’s Action Party (PAP) may call for an early general election in 2014 or 2015, rather than in 2016.

First, the previous general election in 2011 and the coming one which constitutionally must be held no later than 2016 (within five years after the first sitting of Parliament), are about preparing the PAP to operate in the post-Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) era.

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The Family Pledge discriminates against single parents

August 1, 2013 by · 1 Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
01 August 2013

The recently unveiled Family Pledge by the National Family Council intones: “We affirm the commitment of marriage between husband and wife.” In so doing, the Pledge marginalizes the courageous community of single parents who raise their children in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Already, in an effort at anchoring the traditional concept of Family as the foundation of Singapore society, the government has needlessly and cruelly institutionalized discrimination against Singles and against Single Parents. The Family Pledge by a supposedly politically and religiously neutral organization further drives a crucifix into the hearts of those brave mothers and fathers who have chosen to shoulder the responsibility of raising a child on their own, with sheer bravery.

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Mainstream media takes the low road

July 29, 2013 by · 2 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
29 July 2013

Last week, the Straits Times published a profile of 7 prominent bloggers, together with remarks on the websites they operate and recent clashes with the establishment or authorities. Suffice it to say that not all of it was flattering. In addition, the Straits Times also published a check-list to supposedly assist the reader sort out fact and fiction online.

The latest salvo at the blogging community comes in the wake of mounting attacks on the character and behaviour of some bloggers. In battling for the hearts and minds of the average Singaporean, the mainstream media has taken the low road. This should not be the case.

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Why Lim Boon Heng for Chairman of Temasek Holdings?

July 23, 2013 by · 5 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
23 July 2013

Former PAP cabinet minister Mr Lim Boon Heng has been slated to take over as Chairman of Temasek Holdings in August from the current chair, Mr S Dhanabalan.

Mr Lim’s appointment is puzzling because he does not appear to have much of a finance background. Mr Lim studied naval architecture in university and had his first job in Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) as a naval architect. Although he entered politics as a PAP MP in 1980, he only became a cabinet minister in 1991. He was instrumental in floating the concept of town councils, which later became a means of politicizing the grassroots organizations and tripping up the Opposition.

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Trust in the government by the citizenry

July 17, 2013 by · 3 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
17 July 2013

The issue about trust in the government has cropped up recently. During the haze crisis, when people online questioned the efficiency of the government in distributing N95 masks to the public and the accuracy of PSI data posted on the NEA website, there were calls from some quarters not to engage in unnecessary criticism, speculation or politicking. ST columnist Rachel Chang described the reaction as a backlash against the naysayers (whom she claimed were engaging in destructive rhetoric).

The subject of trust was once again brought up by former NMP Calvin Cheng in his latest missive published in the Straits Times Forum Page. Calvin Cheng called on people to trust the government in a crisis situation and not indulge in speculation, which he said could hinder the government’s effort in crisis management.

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The government’s adversarial approach to New Media

July 10, 2013 by · 2 Comments
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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 July 2013

New Media’s impact on the social, economic, cultural and political development of societies around the world has grown exponentially over the years. Singapore is not spared these sweeping changes. Our government, however, has reacted to the growing influence of the Internet and New Media haphazardly and indecisively.

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Reflection of that Midnight Call

By Dr Wong Wee Nam
06 July 2013

People don’t normally call another person in the middle of the night unless it is something very important. Or, unless you are feeling hungry and want someone to go with for supper. Most of the time, it means bad news. In my case, whenever there is such a call at such an unearthly hour, it means either there is an emergency or someone is in trouble, dying or has died.

I, therefore, find it a little strange that a Law Minister should call up a lawyer/blogger at midnight to discuss the consequence of disseminating an article written by a foreign journalist in a foreign newspaper. Even if he had insomnia over the article, could he not have waited till the next day to discuss it? But then someone told me it is common for lawyers to talk to each other at midnight. I am not sure if he was pulling my leg.

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A different red herring and a backlash

July 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Written by Ng E-Jay
03 July 2013

In her controversial article “A different backlash and a red herring” (Singapolitics, 01 July), columnist Rachel Chang criticized a minority of online voices for engaging in anti-government rhetoric during the haze crisis, which is clearly not the government’s fault.

She said that this same group had led similar charges before, but now it faced a backlash from a larger majority of Singaporeans who knew better, and that every anti-social act committed during the haze crisis was outweighed by other good deeds. Rachel Chang said that this small group of “ugly Singaporeans“, who are doing their best to make themselves heard, should not be allowed to become a “red herring” argument for political stagnation.

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Pink Dot 2013 attracts over 20,000 participants

June 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
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Singapore government needs to beef up its environmental contingency planning

June 27, 2013 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Written by Ng E-Jay
27 June 2013

Despite the haze problem persisting for close to two decades, the Singapore government was nonetheless caught off-guard last week when haze levels climbed well into the hazardous zone, registering all time highs on the PSI scale. The government’s initial response to the haze was tentative and indecisive, the supply of masks ran out too quickly, and it was a few days before the government got its act together.

This should not be the case, the problem having been around for so many years. N95 masks should have been stockpiled well in advance of any outbreak of hazardous environmental pollution or any pandemic. Emergency preparedness should have kicked into high gear right at the start, with precautionary measures well-rehearsed by all relevant agencies. Hospitals, polyclinics, and pharmacies should have acted in concert. Instead they acted in disarray, with some retail outlets attempting to profiteer from the situation by selling masks at inflated prices after receiving them from the government.

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